Rome is known for its culture and history, but what many people don’t realise is that it’s also a great destination for families. There are so many engaging activities that Mum, Dad and all the little ones are guaranteed to have a blast. From becoming a gladiator to a trip to the zoo, this cosmopolitan city is one of the best places in Italy for a family friendly holiday abroad.
Explore the Creepy Catacombs
Are you and your family brave at heart? Then I dare you to explore the catacombs together. Book on to a guided tour (as if you have a choice – it’s the only way you can visit here) and discover the wonderfully dark and spooky underground tunnels that are home to thousands of dead people, including martyrs, saints and popes. This delightfully scary (and not to mention incredibly historical) adventure is perfect for your adventurous, precocious kids.
Top Tip: It’s important to note that this activity isn’t suitable for children younger than seven. If the members of your brood are a bit younger, it’s advisable to wait a few years before taking them here.
Learn How to Become a Gladiator
Send your children back in time by signing them up to become a gladiator at Rome’s Gladiator School. This is a great hands-on learning experience for kids, and will allow them to dress up in tunics (complete with training swords) and learn some basic combat techniques. They will come as kids and leave as champions!
Top Tip: Again, this is an activity that’s best suited for older kids. Make sure your children are at least eight before signing them up.
Head to the Park
Don’t worry, this activity is suitable for absolutely all ages! If you’ve got children with endless energy, take them to Villa Borghese (Rome’s central park) and set them loose. Here you can entertain the kids by taking them to the zoo, renting a bike and going for a cycle or hiring a small boat that you can row around the lake. Once you’ve tired them out, catch a flick at the Cinema dei Piccoli, the world’s smallest movie theatre. You’ll find nothing but family fun at this fantastic park.
Meet the Locals
Local animals, that is. Rome’s streets are filled with them (okay, it’s true, most – if not all – of them are carved out of stone), including bees, lions, wolves, horses and even an elephant. Make a scavenger hunt out of it – whoever finds the most creatures first wins a gelato. However, if you want to see something that’s a bit more lively, you can go to the Largo di Torre Argentina, the ruins of an ancient temple that was the site of Julius Caesar’s death. Although humans aren’t allowed to enter, it is home to many of the city’s stray cats. Come and see if you can make some feline friends.
Where to Stay
Borgo Pio Passetto Papale – Centrally located, air conditioned and featuring great views… what more could you want from an apartment? You’ll have everything from an equipped kitchen and washing machine to a flat-screen TV, so taking care of the kids will be a breeze. Plus, a bicycle rental service is available… what fun for the little ones!
Over the Tiber Loft – This apartment is a great choice for families who like city walks and going out for meals, as both are right on your doorstep. You’ll get all the comforts of home… but with amazing city and river views you can admire right from your very own terrace.
How to Get There
Getting from London to Rome Ciampino Airport (CIA) takes about two and a half hours, so it’s a good idea to make sure you bring some entertainment for the kids to avoid listening to them whining about how bored they are. Once you land, hop into a pre-booked airport shuttle and zip off to your accommodation in Rome – the journey should take you about 45 minutes.
I always book my transfers in advance through Shuttle Direct, especially when I’m travelling with kids. There’s no way I’m going to be fighting other travellers for a taxi once I arrive, nor am I going to lug my bags and my children through confusing foreign public transportation. Shuttle is the perfect answer – I know they’ll be waiting for me as soon as my plane touches down, which makes my journey significantly less stressful.
- UK to CIA Flight Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
- CIA to Rome Distance: 17 kilometres
- Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: 44 minutes
About Shuttle Direct
Here at Shuttle Direct, we are proud to say that we’re one of the best airport transport companies in all of Europe and North Africa. We offer fast, efficient and reliable rides, and our drivers are some of the friendliest around. For more information, check out our website or, if you’re ready to pre-book your journey, you can do so online.